Youtuber disappears with millions of euros in cryptocurrency, prosecutors open investigation

While French and European lawmakers are trying to regulate the fledgling market, the world of cryptocurrencies still leaves room for scammers to thrive. The latest was the opening by the Paris prosecutor’s office of a fraud investigation against an Internet user suspected of disappearing hundreds of people with cryptocurrency investments. According to the lawyer of the four plaintiffs, Me Jeremy Asta-Vol, he is suspected of embezzling between 3 and 4 million euros.

Now from 200 to 300 people have suffered from fraud, about forty complaints have been brought to the attention of the lawyer.

Under the username “Crypto Gouv,” the man “created a Youtube channel offering explanations on how to jointly invest in cryptocurrencies and NFT projects on Discord and Telegram” (two messaging apps), a lawyer at the Lyon bar explains to AFP.

“He kept the community alive for months, with some investors investing a few hundred euros and others tens of thousands,” he adds.

However, on July 9, Crypto Gove, after exchanging daily with internet users and promising a lucrative return on investment, exposed the video hoax itself by announcing that it was leaving with funds deposited by internet users who followed its instructions. and also the pain he thinks he will bear.

In addition to an online Discord dedicated to helping the victims of the Crypto Gouv, the lawyer announced the formation of an association to “inform, help the victims” of the scammers in their efforts.

The investigation, initiated in particular on the fact of fraud, was entrusted to the research department of Paris.

The resurgence of fraud in DeFi

Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. According to depositor protection regulators AMF and ACPR, crypto fraud is on the rise, with the average loss doubling in a few months, from €20,000 to €40,000.

In order to operate in France, a company must apply for the status of “PSAN” (Digital Asset Service Provider) with the AMF (Financial Markets Authority).

Another scourge in the world of cryptocurrencies is money laundering through these new networks. In the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector in particular, it would grow by 263% during the first two quarters of 2022, according to CryptoMonday data.

Cryptocurrency fraud reached $7.7 billion stolen globally in 2021, up 81% from 2020, a year of sharp decline during the pandemic compared to 2019, according to Chainalysis.

(with AFP)

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